Company name: Genocea Biosciences Inc.
Solution/product:The biotech startup has a proprietary technology to identify and use T-cell antigens to target large pathogens likeHSV-2, pneumococcus, chlamydia and malaria.
Money raised: $30 million.
How it will be used:The funds will support two programs, one for a clinical stage vaccine candidate that aims to reduce the severity and frequency of clinical outbreaks associated with moderate-to-severe herpes simplex virus type 2; and the other a preclinical vaccine to prevent infections tied to streptococcus pneumoniae.
Investors: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation andCVF, LLC, an affiliate of Henry Crown and Company invested in this round. Additional investors are all of Genocea’s existing investors — Polaris Venture Partners, Lux Capital, SR One, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Skyline Ventures, Cycad Group, Auriga Partners, MP Healthcare Ventures and Morningside.
Management team: Chip Clark, president and CEO;Seth Hetherington, chief medical officer; Robert E. Farrell Jr., vice president of finance and administration; Jessica Baker Flechtner, vice president of research; Paul Giannasca,vice president of development, Ravi Venkataramani, vice president of business development.
Market: HSV-2 triggers genital herpes. In the U.S. alone,40 million to 60 million people are infected with HSV-2, according to the World Health Organization. Annually, there are 1 million to 2 million new infections and 600,000 to 800,000 clinical cases.